MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “pride”

Two goats on a bridge

https://blog.cancaonova.com/seguidoresdocaminho/files/2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gif?file=2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gifThere is a story we are told as children about two goats fighting over a narrow bridge.  The story goes that “One day a goat was crossing the bridge. He saw another goat crossing the bridge in the opposite direction. The bridge was so narrow that there was no space for both of them to pass. Both of the goats didn’t want to go back. One goat said to the other goat “You should go back since I am stronger than you”. The other goat denied saying it’s stronger. Both of them argued for a while. Later, one goat put down his horns to fight to show it is stronger than the other. They fight furiously and both of them lost their balance and fell into the stream below. The swift current of the stream carried them away in deep water and both of them were drowned.” The story continues that a while later, two other goats approached the bridge and started quarrelling for the same reason. However, this time one told the other that to save them both from drowning, it would lie down and  the other would walk over it. “Then the wise goat lay down on the bridge, and the other goat walked over him. So they passed each other, and went on their ways”. The moral of the story is that “anger leads to sorrow and please leads to joy”.

But there is more to that.

We often become so stubborn we don’t want to be the one who withdraws from a quarrel no matter how big or insignificant it may be. We feel that we would be seen as weak if we back down, if we compromise, if we admit to the fact that our view is not the only one and not the only right one.

Yet, we make it a matter of strength, of vigour, of status, to be the goat that marches ahead and does not allow any other to move ahead of us.

We end up drowning ourselves and taking others down with us. When all we need to do is look around us and perceive the other side of things too. Allowing others to walk past, does not always mean that we are left behind. It just means that we are wise enough to allow others to co-exist and that sometimes trying to prove yourself all the time is just not worth it.

A peacock’s strut

meep-by-the-window

©Jean L. Hays

It was one of those days, when you look out of the window lost in your thoughts. A strange bird caught her attention. It reminded her of a saying her grandfather used to tell her: “be a peacock in a world full of blackbirds”. It was a prompt to refuse to be ordinary.

But in our world today, everyone believes they’re a peacock. Strutting along, gleaming and boasting of their supposed abilities and good looks. “Appearance is deceiving”, she pondered.

She looked closer at the bird. It seemed ordinary. “A peacock that rests on its feathers is just another turkey”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Coffee in the park

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/t/paper-coffee-cup-book-grass-green-summer-sunlight-park-55085045.jpgHe was waiting for her with a book in hand outside the small coffee shop where they had agreed to meet at 6pm sharp. She was ten minutes (fashionably) late. On purpose, of course. His eyes lit up when he saw her approaching. She tried to hide the glow of her own eyes through the dark sunglasses she still wore even though the sun had already began to set.

He greeted her and told her he would like to go sit on the green hill opposite the café where people went to gaze at the world as it went by a few feet away from them. She agreed without hesitation. It was an alternative offer to a mere coffee appointment and she was curious to see where it would lead.

He ordered the coffee and took her hand. She couldn’t help but blush, even after all this time.

The last time she had seen him a week ago she had left in a rush to hide her tears. He was as cold as an iceberg. But both their pride made them stubborn enough to remain apart even though they wanted to be together.

For minutes, they discussed the people that walked past, the streetlights, the current events, everything other than what was truly on their minds.

Then she dared ask, “what is this book you have?” She was a bookworm and he knew it. She could get lost in books as though she was drowning in an ocean.

He didn’t look at her, but a faint smile formed on his face. “There are some things I can’t say. It’s what you complain to me about. That I don’t speak enough. Or, rather, I don’t tell you how I feel enough. So I found another way to do so. I want to read you something. It’s exactly what I want you to know. What I wish I could say to you. What I want you to understand about me.

She gazed at him as he took the book – a blue one with yellow pages – and opened it to the marked page. He cleared his throat and began to read, gently as though in a lullaby, with emotion emanating from every word he pronounced.

I love you even when I hate you. Even when I want to be angry at you, I can’t. Because I’ve fallen so deep, I can’t get out. And I don’t want to. I become silent because I fear of you knowing this. Because it scares me that I am so vulnerable at your hands. That I lose all control when I’m with you, when I simply lay eyes on you. You awaken in me everything I want to be. That better person I would like to be, the one I strive to become. I say nothing because I want to say a lot. Because I fear you’ll realise you deserve so much better than me. That I am not worthy of someone like you. Whatever adjectives I find to describe you will never be enough. And I fall silent because I fear that you will realise you deserve better and walk away. I know I become overly jealous and possessive. It is the fear in me coming out. And that turns into anger because I am afraid I won’t be able to keep you. I love you even when I say I don’t. Because you have awakened in me an emotion that I never knew existed. And I love you for being you. For being here with me. For loving me.”

He closed the book and she swallowed with difficulty. She turned her head quickly away because she didn’t want him to see the tears forming in her eyes. She managed to keep them from trickling down.

That’s beautiful,” she told him. “Who wrote it?

He opened the book again to the marked page.

I did,” he said and revealed the yellow post-it he had written it all on.

Pride and Stubbornness

stubborn-muleZoe and Theodore had fallen in love the minute they met. All it really took was a deep gaze into each other’s chestnut eyes. They were both glowing, an indication of the emotions that had sparked inside of them. But they knew that this relationship was not going to be an easy ride.

Pride and stubbornness does that.

They were both successful in their respective careers. Independent, self-sufficient professionals who had learned how to battle through life and persevere no matter what came their way.

But in a relationship, that wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

Theodore would occasionally back down, allowing Zoe to make the choices – the meal, the restaurant, the movie. But she often felt he was letting her do things so she wouldn’t nag and she detested it, leading to a fight – the kind of ones only women know how to start.

When he wouldn’t call during the day because he was often caught up with heap-loads of work, Zoe refused to pick up the phone and call him herself. And they would spend days wondering why each other didn’t call, waiting, hoping, drowning in thoughts and doubts.

In the end, they realized they were simply suffocating themselves. Something should be done. So they set a specific time by which they would definitely talk on the phone if they hadn’t already. They took turns choosing what they would eat, see, go. They would discuss and make decisions jointly, in rare cases even flipping a coin if it came down to that.

And with time, their pride and stubbornness in their relationship subdued. They realized these feelings had no place in emotions of love. And so they managed to save their life as a couple and ultimately rescue their own sanity. Because sometimes, you do need to let go of a few things and just for a while demonstrate you too have weaknesses.

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